Lazy Susan from a Fallen Oak Tree

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Lazy Susan from a Fallen Oak Tree

VIDEO

I recently made a lazy susan from a fallen oak tree. Watch the video to see all of the details or follow along below:

BACKGROUND

Sometimes, everyday things in our lives develop special meaning over time, without us even realizing it. Years ago, I saw my mom cry at the loss of some very old, very large trees during Hurricane Katrina. Those trees represented something to her, and they were gone in a moment. 

My wife's grandparents have lived in the same house for nearly 60 years. Over those years, many trees have grown and fallen, but one particular tree stood strong for probably most of the time they lived there. That is, until last year, when the oak tree I'm speaking of was struck by lightning and became unsafe to leave standing. It was very near their house, and had to be taken down.

I didn't have a way to mill the lumber, and I didn't even have a way to get it back to my house if I had milled it. I don't have a truck, trailer or mill of any kind. Therefore, all of the wood was turned into firewood, so as not to be wasteful of a resource. 

In that same vein of not wanting to waste, I grabbed 4 pieces of the oak firewood from their pile one year ago when we were at their house for thanksgiving. I thought to myself that it would be very special if I could make something for them out of the tree that stood by their house for so many decades. 

TOOLS & MATERIALS

Table saw - http://amzn.to/2BVoGkE

Bandsaw - http://amzn.to/2B5DT5A

Jointer - http://amzn.to/2BUGAnA

Planer - http://amzn.to/2C7Cw4f

Compass - http://amzn.to/2l0cD2j

Clamps - http://amzn.to/2Ac6RNC (These are a little cheaper at Home Depot)

Wood glue - http://amzn.to/2BDihhS

Epoxy - http://amzn.to/2AaDr2r

Mineral oil - Buy locally

Wood burner - http://amzn.to/2AbhccW

Lazy susan hardware - http://amzn.to/2Ae3k1B

STEPS

As mentioned before, these were just pieces of firewood. Some of them still had the bark on, so I started by popping off all of that bark. 

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I milled all of the boards down to have two flat and parallel sides.

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Then, I took them to the bandsaw to resew them into halves. 

I wanted to get as much yield from these boards as possible. 

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I arranged them to where I thought they looked good, and then ran them through the planer so they would be all of the same thickness. 

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I glued them together, and then I needed to fill some voids with epoxy.

I am using West Systems epoxy and adding a bit of very fine sawdust into the mixture. 

There were some wormholes and other cracks that needed filling. I Didn't want everything perfectly smooth, but I wanted it stable. 

I used a torch to get all of the bubbles out of the epoxy. 

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Before I filled the voids with epoxy, I flattened the lazy susan right out of the clamps. When it sat overnight, it cupped a little bit. I created a quick flattening jig by shimming the lazy susan on a piece of plywood. Then, I secured it all with hot glue. I ran it through the drum sander a few times. Then, I removed the board from the plywood, flipped it over and made the other side parallel. 

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I marked the center after it using a compass. This circle cutting jig has been very valuable. I'm not sure where all I gleaned inspiration to build it, but there are a lot of videos about it out there on YouTube. 

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I added a rounder to one side and a chamfer to the under side. This would help it to feel more elegant. 

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I oiled the board with some mineral, soaking it fully. 

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After making sure the hardware was centered, I marked where the screws needed to go, drill them out a bit so it wouldn't split, and put in the screws. 

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I used some cabinet bumpers as feet for this. They worked well, and I wish I would have thought of using them sooner. 

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CONCLUSION

Thank you for taking the time to watch and read about this project! If you build something like this, I'd love to see it. Follow me over on Instagram @Brudaddy and be sure to tag me so I can see your project!

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How To Make A Mickey Mouse Mug Holder

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How To Make A Mickey Mouse Mug Holder

VIDEO

Some friends of mine are really, really into all things Disney. They were setting up a new coffee station in their house, and they wanted a large, Mickey Mouse mug holder for the wall, so I made one. Watch the video to see how it was made:

BACKGROUND

Some of the requirements for this project were as follows:

  • Be over 3' tall
  • Butcher block style with different hardwoods
  • Hold a ton of mugs
  • Pegs spaced for odd-sized or large mugs also

TOOLS & MATERIALS

Miter Saw - http://amzn.to/2ynOXJv

Table Saw - http://amzn.to/2yxWdQr

Bandsaw - http://amzn.to/2hNB7a4

Jigsaw - http://amzn.to/2A3ToKR

Drill & driver - http://amzn.to/2A1kj9R

Brass mallet - http://amzn.to/2A3TSk9

Belt sander - http://amzn.to/2zwcVnS

Random orbit sander - http://amzn.to/2BgGR4N

Files - http://amzn.to/2zgoFqC

Sandpaper

Screws

Wood glue - http://amzn.to/2kOWYCo

STEPS

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I started off by getting a bunch of different types of wood and cutting them to rough length on the miter saw. You can see me stacking them up on the bench to see if I have enough. 

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Then, I took them to the jointer to get one flat side. 

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After I had one flat side, I used that side referenced against my table saw fence and ripped strips out of each board. 

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Once I had them arranged in a way that I liked, and all of the edges were flat and parallel, I started one of the most stressful glue-ups I've ever done! There were so many boards, and I wanted a good amount of glue coverage, so there was glue everywhere!

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Quick Tip: if you drip wood glue onto your floor, don't try to wipe it up. That will only smear it into the concrete more. Wait until it dries. Then, you can come back with a scraper and pop the glue spots right off. Ask me how I know this?

After I took the panel out of the clamps, I used some scrapers to remove the excess glue. 

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Then, I ran it through the drum sander a few times. This thing was so heavy, I had a hard time using the drum sander to flatten it effectively. It CAN be used for this kind of thing, but maybe I don't have the knowledge of how to use it for something so wide and heavy yet. 

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I took the dimensions my friends wanted the final piece to be, and used a site called rasterbator.com to blow it up into a poster. I didn't particularly like how it did it. It was quite hard to assemble and get it to look right. 

Then, I sprayed some adhesive on the template, and stuck it temporarily to the board. 

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I took it to the bandsaw to cut off some of the bulk, but it was really to heavy to do much at the bandsaw.

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I finished cutting out the template with my jigsaw, which was awful. Even as tightly as I could clamp it, I got a lot of vibration. I generally don't like the jigsaw. 

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I refined the shape and edges through a series of belt sanders, files and my random orbit sander. 

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I added a 1/8" roundover to all of the edges with my router.

Then, I sprayed on a few coats of clear lacquer, sanding between with 320 grit sandpaper. 

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This next part was interesting...I used a few mugs of various sizes to sketch out where all of the pegs needed to be. They wanted to get a lot of mugs on this board, so I had to try to squeeze in as many as I thought looked good. I think it ended up with 40 spots to hang mugs, depending on their sizes. 

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I put together this little jig to help me drill the holes for the pegs at a slight angle. They didn't have to be exact, but since I was using a handheld drill (too large to use on my drill press for many of the holes in the center), I needed something to help me repeat the angle. I drilled a starter hole in a scrap block at the desired angle, and then used that to guide my holes in the piece. This was a lot of drilling! I drilled 40 holes that were 1/2" wide, and at least that deep!

I used a stop block at my table saw sled to cut out all of the oak dowels. 

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Then, I rounded over the edges that would show just a little. 

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I decided to use some epoxy to glue in the pegs, just for a little more holding power. They had a nice, tight fit. 

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All that was left at this point was to attach the French cleat and try it out!

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CONCLUSION

I love it this Mickey Mouse mug holder turned out! My friends loved it too, so that makes me smile. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this and watch the video. I will see you on the next project!

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How to Make A Pallet Wood Picture Frame

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How to Make A Pallet Wood Picture Frame

VIDEO

A while back, I wanted to make some pallet wood picture frames. I ended up making two sets: one for us to keep and put in the baby's room (where the pallet wood sign and pallet wood arrow art are located) and one set was for my niece to frame some photos I took of her riding her horse. Take a look at the video to see how I built it:

BACKGROUND

My niece is really into horses. If you have not seen the video I made about the equestrian jumps she and I made, take a quick look below:

To continue in that theme of horses, I took some photos of her riding her horse some time ago, and she was wanting to frame them. The pallet wood frames seemed like a good match for this, since they were rustic and looked kind of like an old barn. 

TOOLS & MATERIALS

Table saw - http://amzn.to/2yxWdQr

Miter saw - http://amzn.to/2ynOXJv

Nail guns & compressor - http://amzn.to/2xUlRTb

Wood glue - http://amzn.to/2kOWYCo

Glass

Glass cutter - http://amzn.to/2zEc29E

Picture frame mat - http://amzn.to/2jiXyb7

Picture hanger - http://amzn.to/2zGsCGd

 

STEPS

As I was going through the pallet wood I had on hand with nails removed, I specifically looked for boards that were already a similar thickness. This can be tough to do with pallet wood at times, since so much of it is variable.

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Then, I took all of the boards to my thickness planer, and ran them through a few times, just to make sure they were as exact as they could be. 

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Then, it was over to the jointer to get a straight side, followed up by the table saw to rip strips equal to the size I wanted my frame pieces. 

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Then, I had to cut a rabbet into some of the boards that would accept the mat, print and glass. I started doing this by just using the fence on the table saw, but after one cut, I didn't feel comfortable doing it this way. There was just not enough of the throat plate on the table saw to really support the work. Instead, I put my crosscut sled on the table saw, clamped a board to it, and referenced off of that board to make the rabbet. This seemed to work pretty well. 

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Next, it was time to cut the 45 degree angles to make up the frames. I actually made a 45 degree miter sled for my table saw a while back, and this was the perfect use for such a jig. Once I figured out how long I wanted my sides to be, I set a stop block at that point, and I knew that all of them would be consistent from that point on. 

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After all of the miters were cut, it was time to start assembling the frames. There were basically two assemblies for each frame since I was going with a design that had multiple pieces to it. I used some wood glue and brad nails, but looking back, I should probably have just used glue. The material was so thin that some of the nails shot out of the boards, causing me to have to either pull them or use a nail punch to seat them out of view. If you have the miters cut exact, you can get a good glue joint by just using some glue and some painter's tape. Of course, this takes a little longer, since you can't remove the tape until the glue is dry. 

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I sprayed on a few coats of spray lacquer, sanding in between coats with 320 grit sandpaper. 

Then, I needed to turn my attention to the glass. I wanted to use real glass, not plexi-glass, so I went to Lowe's and purchases a piece of just regular glass. I had one of those little glass cutters I've seem people use, and I wanted to try my hand at it. I had never done it before, so I really didn't know how hard or easy it would be. 

It was hard.

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It was harder than I expected. after breaking multiple pieces of glass, and having to go back and buy more, I finally figured out that you must press pretty hard with the tool to get it to score the glass sufficiently. I could also hear a cracking sound, almost like ice on a frozen lake starting to crack through, and then I knew that I was pressing hard enough. If you try this, you'll have to experiment for yourself, but in my experience, I had to pretty much harder than I expected. 

Once you score the glass, there are a few methods you can try to break it off:

  • Just pick it up and use your hands with pressure near the scored lines to break the two pieces apart. Sometimes, it can be hard with this method to get the pressure along the scoring to be even, and it will break cleanly in one part, but not in others. 
  • Use some special pliers that help you to get the pressure right where the score line is
  • Use a dowel or the end of a table along the score line. This can help apply pressure all along the line. The dowel method seemed to work particularly well for me, and with minimal effort.
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I just purchased mats that were the size I needed, but in the future, I plan to try to cut my own. The ones I got were very reasonable, and I got a pack of about 10. 

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As I started to put everything into the frame, I needed to secure everything in the back, so it would not all fall out. I first tried some of those glasier points that I've seem some people use. This didn't work for me at all. I'm not sure if it was just this particular wood or what, but they would not go in the wood. Then, I tried some really small finish nails that I have. I could not get them to hold the contents of the frame securely, so I tried to kind of bend the nail toward the frame contents. DON'T DO THIS! In doing so, I put pressure on the side of the glass, where it has no strength, and I broke yet another piece of glass! 

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I finally decided to just cut some small pieces of wood, and use those to secure the contents of the frame. This method seemed to work pretty well. 

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All that was left was to add some way to hand the frames. I used the little jagged picture hangers since these were not very heavy frames. I figured they could be hung, even in drywall, with simply a nail. No special hardware needed.

HINT: Use some needle nose pliers to hold the tiny nails as you hammer in the picture hanger. This will allow you to be more precise with how you hammer, and it will save your fingers. 

Hang the frames and you're done!

Thanks for taking the time to check out this project! If you have any questions, I'd love to hear them. How would you have done any of this differently?

 

CONCLUSION

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